A basic granny square pattern to crochet
What is a granny square exactly? A lot of people will refer to any crochet square as a granny square, but actually, it’s only a granny square if it uses the traditional granny stitch. Any other crochet square is just a crochet square or a crochet motif. If you are looking for a basic granny square pattern, you’ve come to the right place!
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Table of Contents
How do you start a granny square?
There are various methods you can use for starting a granny square. My favorite method is the magic circle. You might also see this called a magic ring, or in older patterns and tutorials, an adjustable ring. The granny square video below demonstrates this technique, and you can also find a tutorial on the magic circle here.
If you prefer a different method, you do have other options. You can start by crocheting 4 chains, slip stitching in the first chain you made to form a ring, chaining 2, and then beginning your first group of 3 double crochet stitches into the center of the ring.
Also, you could begin by chaining 3 and then working all the stitches of round 1 into the first chain you made, letting the chain loosen as you work to make room for all the stitches. Pull your beginning yarn tail when you finish round 1 to tighten the center and then weave that tail in.
See the written instructions or video below for details on what stitches are needed for the first round and beyond.
What materials are needed to crochet a granny square?
First up, you will need yarn. You can crochet a granny square in any yarn or thread you like. In the video below, I used worsted weight/4/medium yarn, but you can use any yarn. If you are a beginner, I recommend smooth yarn in light to medium colors, as these are easiest to work with.
You will also need a crochet hook. Crochet hooks come in different sizes and you will want to take into consideration what yarn you are using when you choose your hook size. Many yarn labels have a suggested crochet hook size on them, so that might be a good place to start. The last row of this chart from the Craft Yarn Council of America has a range of suggested hook sizes based on yarn thickness.
Sometimes finding just the right hook size requires trial and error. Using the suggestions above, choose a hook and start your square. If the resulting fabric seems too stiff, rip it out and try a larger hook. If the resulting fabric seems too floppy, rip it out and try a smaller hook. Smaller hooks make smaller stitches, which makes stiffer fabric. Larger hooks make larger stitches, which makes looser fabric.
My favorite crochet hooks are the resin Streamline hooks from Furl’s Fiberarts. You can see one of these in action in the video tutorial below. You can purchase your own Furl’s Streamline crochet hook here.
When you’ve finished your basic granny square, you’ll need a tapestry needle to weave in your yarn ends.
What can you make with a basic granny square?
There are loads of projects that can be made with basic crochet granny squares! You can use one small square as a coaster. You can use one 6 to 10 inch square, or two of them connected around the edges, as a hotpad/trivet. You can put squares together to make bags, pillows, blankets of course, scarves, placemats, table runners, hats, mittens, sweaters, pants, cardigans, you name it!
One cute pattern that I have available for free that uses just one granny square is my Granny Ghost, which is perfect for Halloween or any time you’d like to have a little ghost hanging up in your space.
Another great project idea using granny squares is my Zena Zipper Pouch. It uses four small granny squares with an added zipper and lining. It’s great for using up scrap yarn and for gifting to friends and family.
Basic granny square written pattern
By April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio
As with all my patterns, please do not make paper or digital copies for others. Instead, please direct them to my website to get their own. Thank you!
Sizes and measurements: My square shown above was about 8 inches across with 7 rnds in pattern. 3 rnds = about 4 inches, 5 rnds = about 6 inches. Each additional rnd after 7 adds about 1.14 inches to the width of the square.
Yarn: I used Cascade Yarns Anthem Worsted (100% Acrylic; 186 yds; 100 g; yarn weight category: 4/Medium/Worsted). You can use any yarn you want to make a traditional granny square, but your resulting square will likely look and feel different than mine if you use a different yarn.
The colors I used in order were #43 Tortoiseshell, #56 Spiced Plum, #79 Avocado, #53 Chive, and #46 Deep Teal.
Crochet Hook: I used K (6.5 mm). You should choose a hook size that gives you the fabric you want. Many yarn labels suggest a hook size, or you can use the last row of this chart for a suggested hook size to go with your yarn. If you want a stiffer fabric, use a smaller hook. If you want a looser fabric, use a larger hook.
Gauge: With worsted weight yarn and a 6.5 mm hook 3 rnds = about 4 inches in granny square pattern. Gauge will vary with different yarn weights and hook sizes.
This pattern is written in standard US terms. For help with abbreviations, get my free, printable crochet abbreviations chart here.
Continue scrolling for a full video tutorial for this basic granny square pattern.
Make a magic circle.
Rnd 1: Ch 2, [3 dc in circle, ch 2] 3 times, 3 dc in circle, hdc in first st to join (hdc counts as corner ch sp) – 12 dc.
Rnd 2: Ch 2, 3 dc in corner ch sp, *skip next 3 sts, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next corner ch sp, repeat from * 2 times, skip next 3 sts, 3 dc in next corner ch sp, hdc in first st to join – 24 dc.
Rnd 3: Ch 2, 3 dc in corner ch sp, *3 dc in each sp between 3-dc groups to next corner ch sp, skipping sts between the sps, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next corner ch sp, repeat from * 2 times, 3 dc in each sp between 3-dc groups to next corner ch sp, skipping sts between the sps, 3 dc in next corner ch sp, hdc in first st to join – 36 dc.
Repeat Rnd 3 for pattern.
You can continue indefinitely, repeating Rnd 3 as many times as you like. It’s up to you how large or small you make it.
When you have reached your desired size of square, fasten off. Weave in all your ends.
Changing colors between rounds
If you want to change colors between rounds as I did, here’s how you do that.
After the joining hdc at the end of a rnd, fasten off that color.
There are two options for how to handle the join. I’ll tell you about my preferred method first, and then another option. The video below demonstrates both.
Place a sl knot of your next color onto your hook, sl st in the first corner ch sp, just left of where you fastened off, then continue as you normally would, with the ch 2 and 3 dc. This makes your first 3-dc group look like a 4-dc group. If that bothers you, then you might prefer the second method below. I prefer this one because I find it sturdier.
To avoid the ch 2 before the first 3-dc group you can use a standing dc join, which is demonstrated in the video below. You do this by first placing a sl knot on your hook. Until you finish the st, use your index finger to hold the loop of the sl knot still, yo, hold the working yarn behind your hook, insert the hook into the first corner ch sp just left of where you fastened off, yo, pull up a loop, [yo, pull through 2 loops] 2 times.
If you use the standing dc join, then you will just make 2 more dc in the corner ch sp to finish your first 3-dc group.
I actually used both color-joining methods in the square you see in the photos in this post. In most rounds I used my preferred method, but in one round I used the standing dc join. Can you spot which round has the different join?
Basic granny square tutorial video
Would you find a video tutorial helpful to show you the stitches and how this basic granny square pattern comes together? I’ve got that right here!
And that’s it! That finishes this basic granny square pattern. I’d love to see your in-process and finished projects! You can share them on Instagram and tag me, or you can join my Facebook group and share them there.
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